The Lao government has approved an increase in its educational expenses to almost 18% of the national budget for the 2007-08 academic year, aiming to bring the quality of its education system closer to international standards. The 17.3% increase amounts to approximately 3.5% of Laos' national GDP or gross domestic products.
Government statistics show that only 12.3% of all preschool-aged children in Laos are in kindergartens, while 86.4% are in elementary schools. The number decreases to 53.6% for junior highs, and even lower - 34.8% - for high schools.
For the school year 2005-06, about 43,000 students finished high schools. Of that number, only 1,500 passed the entrance exams to the national university, while the rest had to go to private colleges or end their quest for higher education altogether.
Listen to our Laos Today for more details in Lao.